For beginners

Harp Courses for Beginners

Currently the only beginners’ harp courses are run in Scotland.  Harps are supplied at these courses.

– The Edinburgh International Harp Festival includes courses for beginners, both children and adults.  This takes place every year usually just before Easter.

Ardival Harps in Scotland run weekend beginners’ courses each year for those who have no experience of playing the harp.  It is not necessary to be able to read music for these courses.  Harps are provided and there is an opportunity to try different kinds of harps.

Harp Taster workshops

Morley Harps in Gloucestershire run ‘Hands on the Harp’ sessions at their showrooms and some festivals.

Trial Lessons

Most harp teachers are happy to give a trial lesson to an absolute beginner.  For contact details, see our list of teachers.

Hire or buy a harp?

The easiest way to start is to hire a harp.

Subsequently it is possible to buy an instrument second hand.

Finding a teacher

On this website, see the list of teachers who teach the lever harp in London & the south-east.  Pilgrim Harps and Morley Harps also keep lists of teachers.  The Clarsach Society website lists teachers in other areas of the UK.  If there are no teachers near you, it is possible to learn via Skype.  Some teachers, especially in Scotland and Ireland, teach aurally.

Financial assistance

Members of the Clarsach Society may apply for the annual scholarship of the Clarsach Society.  Branch members of the London & South-East branch may also apply for assistance from the branch fund.

The London & South-East branch also has two 34 string lever harps available for loan at no charge, each for a 12-month period. Conditions of the loan are available by contacting us.   An applicant does not have to be a member of the Clarsach Society, but will be required to join if their application is successful and they are not already a member.  An applicant for one of these harps should be in the early stages of learning to play the harp and be able to provide a reference from a teacher.  The application period for the loan of these harps is normally in May and October each year, and will be advertised through the website.

The ‘Take it away scheme aims to make musical instruments more accessible to children and young people by providing interest-free loans of up to £5,000.

Awards for Young Musicians makes awards to young musicians each year, to support all the major costs of a young musician’s training, such as lessons, buying an instrument, travel and specialist courses.

Finding harp music

Harp music is generally best purchased through one of the harp makers/dealers or specialist publishers of which there are a number in the UK.  Harp festivals offer an opportunity to browse music before buying it.

More resources

A ‘Beginners’ Guide’ is publised on Morley Harps website

Information about ‘Starting With Harps’ is published on Pilgrim Harps website